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5 essential customer service skills for team leaders

Customer service team leaders need to be prepared to inspire their customer service team members and to potentially address escalated customer concerns.

Customer service team leaders need to be prepared to inspire their customer service team members and to potentially address escalated customer concerns.

As a result, it is of paramount importance that team leaders master these 5 skills for effective leadership - although everyone who works with customers could benefit from honing them too.

1. Leadership Skills

What makes a good leader? A good leader will demonstrate by example what is expected of their team members. A great leader will take responsibility for the issues presented to them directly as well as every issue their team members encounter. Strong leadership skills requires a focus on resolving both customer and team member concerns with empathy and efficiency.

2. Time Management

Your customer's time is valuable and so is your company's time. Customers do not want to feel rushed, but they also don't want to have to wait around to have their needs met. Along the same lines, your team members need enough time to complete all of their duties without feeling rushed but will get bored if they don't have enough to do. Effective time management involves striking a delicate balance to find that sweet spot in the middle for customers, team members, and the company.

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3. Creativity

Even the most common concerns don't always have a "one size fits all" solution. It takes creativity to determine the most efficient and effective way to meet your customer's needs. Finding creative solutions requires you to go beyond standard operating procedure and consider the nuance of the problem before you. For customer's with complex problems, when you find a creative solution to their problems, you build loyalty and show your company's ability to meet dynamic needs.

4. Flexibility

Every customer is unique and it is important to treat them individually. Personalization improves customer satisfaction, no matter the reason for their visit. All it takes to personalize your customer's experience is a little flexibility in your approach. Even small things, such as changing your communication style or adjusting your body language can go a long way towards making your customer feel comfortable and satisfied.

5. Accountability

A great team leader is accountable for their own actions as well as for the actions of their team. Your customer's satisfaction and your team's performance are your responsibility. When a team leader accepts accountability for the team, it builds trust and loyalty within the work environment. Team members feel empowered to take responsibility for their customer's satisfaction when they know they are supported by their team leader.

A good leader will never have a great team. It takes a great leader to guide others into achieving success. Fostering these five skills within yourself and your team members will improve your leadership skills and make you a more effective customer service professional.